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Tartu University



UT is Estonia's leading centre of research and training. It preserves the culture of the Estonian people and spearheads the country's reputation in research and provision of higher education. UT belongs to the top 1.2% of world's best universities. 
As Estonia's national university, UT stresses the importance of international co-operation and partnerships with reputable research universities all over the world. The robust research potential of the university is evidenced by the fact that the University of Tartu has been invited to join the Coimbra Group, a prestigious club of renowned research universities. 

UT includes four faculties. To support and develop the professional competence of its students and academic staff, the university has entered into bilateral co-operation agreements with 79 partner institutions in 31 countries. 
The University of Tartu was founded in 1632 by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. It was initially called Academia Dorpatensis. The necessary preparations for creating a university in Tartu (then Dorpat) were made by Johan Skytte, governor general of Livonia. 

the department of Geography 

The Department of Geography, University of Tartu, (head of department Evelyn Uuemaa) belongs to the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences of the Faculty of Science and Technology. The department includes three chairs: 

  • geoinformatics and cartography; 
  • human geography and regional planning; 
  • physical geography and landscape ecology. 

The Chair of Geoinformatics and Cartography provides education and carries out research in geomatics, geoinformatics, cartography as well as remote sensing, geodesy and topography. The head of the chair is Prof. Tõnu Oja.  

The chair of human geography and regional planning provides education in spatial aspects of functioning of human society, in particular population, culture and mobility, structure of different regions of the world, problems of economy and politics, and regional policy and planning in Estonia and the neighbouring regions.  The head of the chair is Prof. Tiit Tammaru.  

The chair of physical geography and landscape ecology teaches disciplines of traditional physical geography and fast developing aspects of landscape changes and analysis. The head of the chair is Prof. Ülo Mander. 

Tartu and campus 

As a student of the University of Tartu, you will quickly lose your heart to the city. Tartu is famous for its cosy historic campus area intertwined with the city centre and parks. Many sporting facilities, green corridor along the River Emajõgi, and good quality cycling routes help to keep students physically active. In addition, Tartu is a compact city where everything you need is in walking distance. 

Tartu does not provide only physical, but also digital proximity to all the places and services you need! Public or university-related WiFi connections enable you to access Internet almost everywhere in the city. For example, you can easily chat with your family and friends back home over smartphone apps everywhere in the town. Estonia is well known for its technological development, digital services and platforms that make everyday life comfortable and time use efficient. 

As a student you will spend most of your study time in the historic study building at Vanemuise street 46, located in the central city, 15-minutes walk away from Town Hall Square. The building hosts the Department of Geography, the Department of Zoology, the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Natural History Museum. The museum affiliates zoological, botanical, mycological and geological collections and opened a new permanent exhibition ‘Earth.Life.Story’ in 2016. Access to the museum is free of charge for the students. 

The study building includes free usage of the computer lab for our students. Computers are equipped with spatial analysis software and enable fulfilment of all assignments required during the studies. During your spare time at the study building, you are welcome to use the cosy coffee room of the Department of Geography. 

Key staff (responsible lecturers of the compulsory courses) 

Dr. Evelyn Uuemaa, Senior Researcher in Geoinformatics, Head of Department of Geography. Her main research fields are applied geospatial analysis on landscape changes, environmental modelling to support land and water resources management, policy (e.g. CAP) implementation in landscape planning. She has been involved with organising International Geography Olympiad (2014 – 2016) and organising NASA Space Apps hackathons in Tartu (2018 – 2019). She has also developed several geoinformatics courses at the University of Tartu.  She is leading Landscape Geoinformatics at the University of Tartu.  
She is responsible of the Spatial Data Studio and Spatial Data Analysis courses in the GEM programme. 

Prof. Tiit Tammaru, Professor of Urban and Population Geography. He is the holder of the Chair of Human Geography and Regional Planning at the University of Tartu and a visiting professor of Urban Inequalities and Segregation at Delft University of Technology. Prof. Tammaru is a leading scholar on socio-economic and ethnic segregation, urban and neighbourhood change, migration, and is especially interested in understanding the spatial dimensions of urban poverty and migration, and associated spatial and social policy. Together with his teams at University of Tartu and Delft University of Technology, he has been developing the theory of vicious circle of segregation over the life course of individuals and the impact on neighbourhoods and cities. 
In the GEM programme he is responsible for the Demography, Global Migration and Contemporary Cities course. 

Dr. Siiri Silm is a senior researcher in Human Geography and her main research interests have been human geography and planning, space-time behaviour studies, ethnic segregation, social networks and seasonality of human activities. She has been mostly working with mobile positioning and GPS data. 
In the GEM programme she is responsible for the Planning Studio course. 

Dr Anto Aasa is a senior researcher in Human Geography at the University of Tartu and his research interests include GIS, spatial statistics, geovisualizations, spatio-temporal behaviour of people, mobile positioning, information and communication technology, bioclimatology, and phenology. He has been active in developing mobile positioning-based research methodology. 
In the GEM programme he is responsible for the Geography, Communication and Spatial Mobility course and Geospatial Analysis with Python and R course. 

Dr. Krista Alikas is a researcher in the Remote Sensing Department in Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu. Her research interests are satellite-based applications for monitoring inland and coastal waters for water quality studies and management purposes. She has been actively involved in the European Space Agency satellites ENVISAT/MERIS and Sentinel-3/OLCI validation teams. 
In the GEM programme she is responsible for the Data Science in Remote Sensing course. 

Dr. Merle Muru is a researcher in Geoinformatics. Her research interests are landscape modelling and relief analysis. Her research is focused on palaeogeography, reconstruction of past sea-level changes, morphology and evolution of coastal areas, and patterns of prehistoric human settlement. 
In the GEM programme she is coordinating the 3-weeks long Internship and 3D Modelling and Analysis course.